Ex Cathedra Debate
Phase 2b - Rebuttal
first of all, my opponent has misread me! He “responds” to a statement
I did not make! Rosenthal opens his rebuttal (Phase 2b) stating: I see that you have characterized the King James Version as a modernist version with a lesser rendering of Luke 1:28.
I never said the KJV was a “modernist version!” What I did say is
that some modernist Catholic versions have used this lesser rendering of
Luke 1:28, which is a disservice to any Christian reading them. The
saddest part of Rosenthal’s response is that which version of Scripture I
prefer and/or why I prefer it is not a subject of this debate!
Realizing that my opponent specified he would be using the KJV and/or
the NKJV, is why I made the comment of the lesser rendering of the Greek
words and provided the Greek words in question here. He spends more
than half of his “rebuttal” phase defending the KJV (548 of 958 words)
which, again, is not the subject of this debate, and doesn’t even touch
the heart of my argument on this point (the use of kecharitomene and it’s root word of charitoo, meaning grace). In essence, Rosenthal wasted more than half his rebuttal.
in all that diversion, he did touch upon the point which is really
related to what I was saying and more on-topic for this debate. In the
last sentence of that section he said: A
version older than Douay also renders the phrase in Luke 1:28 as
"highly favored," which is what the original Greek meant. The original
Greek actually meant "highly favored," and not "full of grace." So I will defend that a bit more.
Rather than reinvent the wheel here, I will quote some research done by fellow Catholic apologist, Phil Vaz [qtd from: http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/a116.htm]:
In other words, the perfect tense in Greek is a past tense with a special meaning: it is used to refer to a past action which has effects felt in the present. So, here's what some modern, English-speaking scholars tell us "Kecharitomene" denotes, based purely on the definition of the word and its grammatical usage:
" 'Highly favoured' (kecharitomene). Perfect passive participle of charitoo and means endowed with grace (charis), enriched with grace as in Ephesians 1:6 . . . The Vulgate gratiae plena
[full of grace] "is right, if it means 'full of grace which thou hast
received'; wrong, if it means 'full of grace which thou hast to bestow' " (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, p. 14)
"It is permissible, on Greek grammatical and linguistic grounds, to paraphrase kecharitomene as completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace." (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament).
However, Luke 1:28 uses a special conjugated form of "charitoo." It uses "kecharitomene," while Ephesians 1:6 uses "echaritosen," which is a different form of the verb "charitoo." Echaritosen means "he graced" (or bestowed grace). Echaritosen signifies a momentary action, an action brought to pass (Blass and DeBrunner, Greek Grammar of the New Testament, p. 166). Whereas, Kecharitomene, the perfect passive participle, shows a completeness with a permanent result. Kecharitomene denotes continuance of a completed action (H. W. Smyth, Greek Grammar [Harvard Univ Press, 1968], p. 108-109, sec 1852:b; also Blass and DeBrunner, p. 175).
Moving along, Rosenthal said: I
see also that you argue that grace is something other than favor.
Grace, despite your definition, remains God's favor, enjoyed by sinful;
people. Those who have sinned enjoy God's grace. Therefore, to say that
Mary is full of grace does not in any sense define Mary as sinless.
Yes, “grace” means something much more than merely “favored.” As the
above citations from Mr. Vaz’ article indicate. There are also types of
grace, and the type we’re discussing here is “sanctifying grace” - that
grace which saves the soul. The Blessed Virgin was not merely
“favored” - but was declared “full of grace” in an act which preceded
the Annunciation (which, coincidentally happens to be the feast day upon
which I am writing this response, March 25th) and was not only preceded
by this event, but was fully and perfectly completed. This is
completely consistent with the Catholic theology of the Immaculate
Rosenthal said: Since
the penalty for sin is death, God would never require any sinless
person to pay the penalty, except in the one case of Jesus Christ, who
died for the sins of the world, which Mary did not do although it is NOT
correct to say that God required Jesus to die for the world, but only
that Jesus agreed with God and collaborated in the act). Adam would not
have died, if he had not sinned. Neither would anyone else. It is not up
to you or I to determine whom God would require to pay the penalty for
sin, but God has already made it known in the scriptures, so that
speculation is unnecessary.
I repeat, the Blessed Virgin, being more blessed than any other woman
before or after her, while she did not inherit the stain of Original
Sin, she did inherit the penalty and died prior to her Bodily Assumption
(which is the only other definitive use of ex cathedra by a pope!). I
can see where you’re attempting to use Protestant theology to brand
Catholic theology as inconsistent with Scripture here - but keep in
mind, according to Catholic theology, since she did inherit the penalty
of Original Sin, she too was in need of a Savior and Redeemer which is
found in her Son, Jesus Christ. Catholic theology is not inconsistent
with Scripture here, only your non-Catholic interpretation of Catholic
theology. What you are arguing is not what Catholics believe.
fact Mr. Rosenthal should keep in mind, prior to the defining of the
doctrine one may be able to find “faithful Catholics” who disagree. If
the doctrine has not yet been defined then prior to that time faithful
Catholics are not bound to accept it as de fide/dogma. He points to St.
Augustine and quotes him - but even that quote does not deny the
doctrine! Yes, Jesus alone did not experience the corruption of
Original Sin - and that is because the Blessed Virgin was preserved from
the stain of Original Sin. Mary, on the other hand, was born of Sts.
Anna and Joachim - and while she was preserved from the stain of
Original Sin, she did experience it and may well have inherited the
penalty of it, and it is my position that she did inherit the penalty.
counter Rosenthal’s citation of St. Augustine, allow me to present a
quote prior to, one contemporary with and another just after him:
the fourth century, the Aramaic Fathers, such as Ephrem, clearly
described the Immaculate Conception. Ephrem in his Carmina Nisibine
is in you, Lord, no stain, nor any spot in your mother. You Jesus and
your mother are the only ones who are beautiful in all aspects. Because
in you, O Lord, there is no deformation, and in your mother, there is no
the Council of Ephesus (431) where Mary was declared the Mother of God,
Saint Proclus (466), the Patriarch of Constantinople, wrote that God
made Mary without stain for himself.
[qtd. on: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2403385/posts]
Mr. Rosenthal still has not provided us with a clear example of an ex cathedra statement being contradictory to Scripture.
Count: 1031 (not counting words in red, which are quotes of Mr.
Rosenthal included for the reader’s convenience to not have to go back
to his response to read them).